As with any business change, one of the most important steps is to assess the current state in order to effectively build the future state.  The assessment of the current personnel systems will rest primarily with the institutions.  Each of the institutions is in the best position to judge what, in the current personnel systems, prohibits its ability to manage effectively its workforce.   It is critical that the institutions’ assessments be detailed in order to understand specific problems, symptoms or limitations and to determine where the prohibition exists e.g., a statute, the local personnel rules, the civil service constraints, etc.  It is suggested that the HR Directors/Academic Personnel Officers of each institution serve as the facilitator in the institution discussions as they understand the inner workings of the current personnel systems.   

The UW System and universities, colleges, and extension key stakeholder groups are:

  • Chancellors
  • Provosts/Vice Chancellors
  • Chief Business Officers
  • Chief Student Affairs Officers
  • Human Resources Director/Academic Personnel Officers
  • Faculty
  • Academic Staff
  • Non-represented classified staff
  • Represented classified staff
  • Others as determined by the individual institution

The institutions’ assessments of current state problems, symptoms and limitations will serve as a starting point to begin building the framework of the future state of the new personnel systems. 

The Office of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity (OHRWD) will review the current state assessment goals, suggested process, and timeline with certain stakeholder groups as detailed below.

Assessment of Current State of Personnel Systems

As with any business change, one of the most important steps is to assess the current state in order to effectively build the future state.  Each institution (not including UW-Madison) was asked, in September 2011, to assess the current classified and unclassified personnel systems and detail specific problems, symptoms or limitations that prohibit or limit its ability to effectively manage its workforce and to complete the task by early November 2011.   The intent of the assessment would be to serve as a starting point to begin building the framework of the future state of the new personnel systems. 

Institutions Current State Assessments

Each institution completed a current state assessment.   Each individual report was reviewed, and duplicate and extraneous comments were deleted.  The assessments were then combined into a single report that categorizes current state problems, symptoms, and limitations into several overarching categories: General; Benefits and Leave Entitlements; Classification and Title; Compensation; Employment; Layoffs and Grievance Procedures; Recruitment; Supervision and Discipline; Work Environment; and Miscellaneous.

Current State Assessment - All Institutions

Additional information that is provided in the report is: (1) an indication if the issue pertains to both the current classified and unclassified systems (indicated by the letter “B” in the first column); to only the unclassified system (indicated by the letter “U”); and to only the classified system (indicated by the letter “C”); (2) the priority assigned by the institution to each issue; and (3) the number of institutions reporting the issue.

The combined report will serve not only to inform the UPS Project Team as it begins its work to build the framework of the new personnel system but also to begin a dialogue at the institutions to examine the issues raised that are within  its control (e.g., the lengthy unclassified recruitment process).    

Important Dates in Phase I

August 23, 2011 - UPS Task Force established by UW System President Reilly.

September 1, 2011 - Chairs Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell (UW-Madison) and Chancellor Dennis Shields (UW-Platteville) hold initial UPS Task Force planning meeting. 

September 7 - 30, 2011 - Al Crist, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity, briefs key stakeholder groups at various UW System meetings.

September 15, 2011 - November 4, 2011 - Stakeholders asses current state of personnel systems. 

November 7-15, 2011 - Compilation of institutions' current state assessment responses.  Each report was reviewed and duplicate and extraneous comments were deleted.  All assessments were combined into a single current state assessment report. (Current State Assessment - All Institutions)

November 16, 2011 - Current state assessment shared with HR representatives at an HR conference.

November 18, 2011 -  Current state assessment shared with stakeholders.

November 2011 - UPS Task Force, UPS Steering Group, and UPS Project Team members named.

December 7, 2011 - UPS Task Force holds its first meeting. December 7, 2011 Minutes

December 15, 2011 - Published current state assessment on UPS website. (Current State Assessment - All Institutions)


The current state assessment informs the array of UPS Work Groups. (Current State Assessment - All Institutions July 21, 2014 324.7 KiB )

Chancellors are asked to nominate staff to serve on UPS Work Groups.

UPS Work Groups meet to discuss problems, symptoms, and limitations raised in the current state assessment and make recommendations for initial draft of new personnel system. 

Identify key technical statutory changes required to implement the legislative intent of s. 36.115 Wis. Stats.

Initial draft personnel system developed by UPS Project Team based on UPS Work Group recommendations.

Important Dates in Phase II

February 8, 2012 - UPS Steering Group presents overview to UPS Task Force. (February 8, 2012 Minutes)

March 8, 2012 - Update the Board of Regents.

March 16, 2012 - First draft of the UPS Work Group recommendations due.

March 20 - 21, 2012 - UPS Project Team develops initial draft personnel system framework.

March 29, 2012 - Joint meeting of UPS Work Groups to discuss initial draft framework.


UPS Steering Group to distribute draft recommendations of personnel system to all stakeholders at each UW institution. 

  • Provide multiple means of sending and receiving feedback on recommendations.
  • Include Human Resource System team in stakeholder review process.
  • Update Chancellors and Board of Regents Business, Finance, and Audit Committee.


UPS Project Team, with the assistance and guidance from all UPS Work Groups, will consider all suggestions and feedback from stakeholders and refine the initial draft of the UPS framework.

Building on the revised UPS framework, UPS Project Team will develop draft processes and procedures for UPS Work Group recommendations accepted in the UPS framework while working collaboratively with UW-Madison's HR Design Project Team and the Human Resource System Team.

  • If necessary, revise any current structures that will remain in place.
  • Develop draft implementation decision documents.
  • UPS Task Force and UPS Steering Group updated monthly.
  • UPS Steering Group and Project Team Meeting on August 14, 2012.
  • Joint meeting for the UPS Work Groups on August 15, 2012.
  • Update the Board of Regents Business, Finance, and Audit Committee on June 7, 2012 and August 23, 2012.


UPS Steering Group to distribute draft of UPS to all institutions' stakeholders.

September 13th - October 19th Proposed Implementation Decisions reviewed by governance groups and other stakeholder groups.

September - October: Proposed Implementation Decisions presented to and discussed with Legislative Leaders.

After October 19, 2012, UPS Project Team to consider all suggestions and revisions to proposed implementation decision documents

Finalize the necessary technical statutory changes needed to implement the intent of s. 36.115 Wis. Stats.


UPS Steering Group reviews final UPS draft of implementation decision documents on November 1, 2012.

UPS Task Force reviews final draft of implementation decision documents on November 7, 2012.

On November 16, 2012, a final draft of the proposed implementation decision documents will be reviewed by the Chancellors.

UPS draft proposed implementation decisions presented to the Board of Regents for approval at the December 6 & 7, 2012 meeting.

Hearing on technical statutory changes on January 29, 2013 (tentative).

The Board of Regents’ approved UPS presented to Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) for approval in February 2013 (tentative).


UPS Steering Group and UPS Project Team will consider all preparations including, training, communication and transition plans for decision categories I, II and III implementation decisions being implemented by July 1, 2013.

Continued collaboration with the UW-Madison HR Design Team.

University Personnel Systems (UW-Madison and balance of UW System) are implemented on July 1, 2013!


Work with institutions on category IV implementation decisions that encourage UW institutions to implement under existing delegated authority.

Begin review of category V implementation decisions recommended for further discussion and potential implementation after July 1, 2013.

Continue to work with institutions on the new UPS.

Timeline Diagram
Date Phase
August 2011 Phase I    
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012 Phase II  
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012 Phase III 
May 2012
June 2012 Phase IV  
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012 Phase V 
October 2012
November 2012 Phase VI   
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013 Phase VII   
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013 Phase VIII